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Mastering Theological English

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What is MTE?

Mastering Theological English (MTE) is an intensive English language program that equips you to study theology at Westminster.

If you qualify for WTS admittance but have a TOEFL score below the minimum WTS requirement, the successful completion of MTE can fully qualify you to enter WTS .

MTE is a rigorous English training that will help you develop the language skills you need to succeed academically while also introducing you to the theological tradition at Westminster, providing a foundational understanding of apologetics, church history, biblical theology, and systematic theology.

Benefits of MTE

MTE will prepare you to . . . 

  • Read theological texts in English with high comprehension
  • Write in English with clarity and accuracy
  • Listen to course lectures and seminar presentations in English
  • Speak English fluently and accurately, asking questions and participating in discussion

In 2017, students will also receive a scholarship applicable to their Westminster degree program upon graduating from MTE. Click here to learn more.

MTE Courses

There are two levels of MTE Program. MTE I is an intensive summer course designed for students admitted to Westminster's MDiv, MAR, or DMin degree programs. You can be eligible with a TOEFL score of 68-87 iBT. 

MTE II is a higher-level course designed for students admitted to the ThM program. You will need a TOEFL score of 85-99 iBT to enter MTE II. If you do not meet this TOEFL requirement, you can also become eligible for MTE II by first completing MTE I. 

MTE Courses Chart2017D.jpg (72 KB)

MTE Admission

Steps for admission are listed below (important deadlines for the 2017 academic year are in the chart above). Please note that there is no separate application for MTE. Admittance to MTE is based upon your application to a Westminster degree program. You must be admitted to your desired Westminster program in order to be eligible for any MTE course. 

  1. Complete your WTS Application for Admission, including your TOEFL score. 
  2. Prepare funding and visa documentation.
  3. Upon full admittance, pay the deposit of $500.
  4. Make the full tuition payment by the first day of the program.

Contact admissions@wts.edu if you need assistance with your application.

What is included in my tuition?

MTE Tuition includes the course instruction fee as well as all books, software, testing fees, library fees and field trips required for the course.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like more information about the MTE program, contact us at admissions@wts.edu. We are here to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission and Registration

Q. What if I don’t have a TOEFL score?
A. A TOEFL score is required for admission to MTE. Before applying for MTE, take the TOEFL and have your scores sent to Westminster. To register for the TOEFL test, applicants should contact TOEFL Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, USA (telephone: 609-882-6601; web address: www.toefl.org). Westminster’s code number, 2976, should be noted on materials sent to TOEFL Services.

Q. What if my TOEFL iBT score is below 68?
A. The minimum TOEFL iBT score for admission to MTE is 68. However, you may retake the TOEFL and have your improved scores sent to Westminster.

Q. What if my TOEFL score is old?
A. We will accept a TOEFL score up to two years old. If your score is older than that, you may retake the TOEFL and have your scores sent to Westminster.

Financial Information

Q. Is there a discount for taking both MTE I and II?
A. No, but additional scholarship money is available for taking both courses.

Q. When is my deposit due? When is tuition due? 
A. See the table above. The deposit of $500 is required to ensure your place in MTE and will contribute toward the full balance of the tuition. The full balance of the tuition is due on the first day of MTE. 

General MTE Acadmeics

Q. What are the standards in order for me to pass MTE?
A.  MTE is a rigorous language program, designed to equip you to perform successfully in Westminster classes. Passing the MTE qualifying exams is our most important measure of whether you have developed the level of advanced theological reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills required to succeed at Westminster. If more information is needed on the specific reading, writing, listening, and speaking standards of MTE, please contact Leslie Altena at mte@wts.edu.

Q. What do I receive when I complete MTE?
A. You will be awarded a certificate of completion. In addition, the MTE course(s), which are non-credit, will be listed on your WTS transcript.

MTE I Academics

Q. What is the MTE I Progress Evaluation?
A. The purpose of the Progress Evaluation is to help students assess their strengths and weaknesses in English two-thirds of the way through the program, so that they can most efficiently improve their weak areas and prepare to do their best on the Qualifying Exam. 

Q. What happens in MTE I if I don’t pass the Qualifying Exam?
A: MTE I Students who do not pass the second qualifying exam will be asked to meet with the Director of MTE to discuss options for continuing their study of English elsewhere. They will not be able to enter a Westminster program the following fall, but may reapply for admission to Westminster at a later date.

MTE II Academics

Q. What exams are given in MTE II?
A. A midterm exam will be given halfway through MTE II. You must pass the midterm to continue in the course. A qualifying exam will be given at the end of the course.

Q. What is the MTE II qualifying exam?
A. The MTE II qualifying exam tests students in the areas of theological reading, listening, speaking, and writing. If you pass the exam and satisfy the additional requirements of MTE II, you can matriculate as a Westminster student.

Q. After passing MTE II, what English language academic requirements will I have during my normal course of study at Westminster?
A. All students admitted to Westminster with TOEFL iBT scores below 111 must take the course Advanced Theological Writing (ATW) beginning their first semester on campus. After entering Westminster upon successful completion of MTE II, you will still need to meet the ATW requirement. 

Q. I have been accepted into one of Westminster master's programs but not the ThM. Can I qualify for the ThM by completing MTE II?
A. No, you must apply and be accepted into the ThM program in order to take MTE II. 

Admission and Registration

Q. Do I need to purchase textbooks?
A. No. All books, software, and other necessary instructional materials will be provided. However, students should come to MTE with their own laptop computer (see the technical requirements listed below).

Q. What are the technical requirements for MTE?
A. Students should come to MTE with their own laptop computer with Windows 7 or later or Mac OS 10.8 or later, standard word processing software, wireless internet capability, and USB compatibility. Student laptops should be equipped with working headphone and microphone.

Q. How can I find information about housing for MTE?
A. Westminster has limited on- and off-campus housing options available on a first-come first-served basis. Staff will also assist MTE students in locating their own off-campus housing. For more information please check back soon for our MTE House page, currently under construction.

Q. Should I bring my family with me at the beginning of MTE?
A. We advise incoming MTE students to come by themselves, without their families, until they have secured their admission as Westminster students by completing all requirements for their MTE course.  

Q. Does MTE provide meals?
A. No, students will be responsible for their own meal arrangements. Hot water and microwave ovens are available on campus. Westminster can assist students in locating local shopping areas and can provide some assistance with transportation. For more information please contact Westminster’s International Student Advisor at studentdevelopment@wts.edu.

Q. How will I find a local church?
A. Westminster can provide assistance in locating churches in the area and can provide guidance on resources for transportation. For more information please contact Westminster’s International Student Advisor at studentdevelopment@wts.edu.